DIY Rustic Cube Shelves

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Submitted by Shannon)

Shannon is here to walk us through one very elegent IKEA hack. If you’re ready and willing to bust out your power tools and commit a few hours to the cause, you will be handsomely rewarded with this gorgeous shelving unit.

Skill Level: Moderate
Time Required: 3 hours
Project Cost: $120
(Image credit: Submitted by Shannon)

What You Need


  • IKEA Kallax shelving unit, 16 1/2 by 57 7/8 inches
  • Five 1×4, knotty pine, 6 feet long
  • Four 3-inch on center cabinet handles
  • Eight 1 1/2-inch narrow fixed pin hinges
  • Four Magnetic catches
  • Wood glue or adhesive
  • 128 1 1/4-inch brad nails
  • Dark walnut stain


  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Brad nailer
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Measuring tape
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Hammer and other items for distressing wood
  • Foam brush
  • Lint-free rag
  • Oil rubbed bronze spray paint (if necessary)
(Image credit: Submitted by Shannon)


  1. Assemble the Shelving Unit: Assemble the IKEA Kallax shelving unit, following the directions in the box. Set aside.
  2. Cut the Door Materials: Measure and cut sixteen pieces of one-by-four knotty pine boards to 13 1/16 inches long. (These will make up the door fronts.)
  3. Rip enough (not quite 1 inch) off of four of the door front pieces to create four 1-by-3-by-13 1/16-inch pieces.
  4. Measure and cut an additional eight pieces of one-by-fours to 13 1/16 inches long. (These will be used to fasten the door pieces together.)
  5. Assemble the Doors: Lay out three of the 13 1/16 inch pieces from the one-by-four and one 1-by-3-by 13 1/16-inch piece. This will be the front of one door.
  6. Apply glue to two pieces of 13 1/16 inch one-by-four and adhere to door front, lining up the edges and pressing down to affix.
  7. Using the brad nailer, also nail it in place.
  8. Brad nail frame in place as well.
  9. Repeat for all four doors, alternating the placement of the smaller board (1 by 3 by 13 1/16 inches) for a more rustic, reclaimed look.
  10. Distress the Doors: Using a hammer and screwdriver, distress the door fronts by banging tools onto the wood at all angles. Distress the doors as much or as little as desired.
  11. Sand the edges and fronts of the doors to remove any rough patches.
  12. Apply stain to the doors using the foam brush, making sure the stain sinks into all the dents and grooves. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Wipe off the excess stain with a clean, lint-free cloth. Let them all dry fully before moving onto the next step.
  13. Add the Handles and Hinges: After the stain on the wood doors is finished drying, decide which way you want your doors to go (vertically or horizontally). Then, on the front of each door, place a pencil mark at 5 inches and 8 inches from the top of the door. Drill holes for the handle screws.
  14. Drill 1-inch deep clearance holes in back for the screw heads to fit. Be careful not to drill through to the front of the doors. Add the handles to each door.
  15. Spray paint the hinges if necessary (it was for me as I couldn’t find black or oil-rubbed bronze hinges in the size and style I needed).
  16. Locate one hinge 2 inches from the top and one hinge 2 inches from the bottom of each door on the side opposite the handle. Using screws that came with the hinges, attach the hinges to the doors.
  17. Attach the Doors to the Shelving Unit: Place the doors into the shelf openings and mark holes for the hinge screws with a pencil. Drill pilot holes (size appropriate for hinge screws) in the shelving unit and the doors. Attach the doors to the shelving unit by screwing the hinges into place.
  18. Add the magnetic catches as door stops inside the shelving unit.
  19. Finishing Touches: You can customize the cube shelf further by adding hair-pin legs, rigid or swivel casters or some sort of backing to the shelf, such as tread plate or wood planking.

For more pictures and instructions, hop on over to Shannon’s blog AKA Design.

Thanks, Shannon!

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